Once an agreement is reached, there are a few additional steps to a successful closing.
You will have the home inspected and appraised. During the inspection, any items that may need to be repaired will be identified and the buyer’s agent will present an inspection response. You and your agent will respond, ultimately deciding which repairs to make. Once all parties have agreed, repairs should be made prior to the final walk through.
Unless the buyer is paying cash, the mortgage lender will order a professional appraisal to ensure the value of the home. Appraisers are required to inspect attics and crawl spaces so make sure they have access to those areas.
The final walk through can be performed anywhere from a few hours to a few days before closing. It is the buyer’s last chance to be certain that the property is in the condition they agreed to buy. The home should be “show ready.” Think of it like the first showing or the day you prepped your home for professional photos – the home should be just as it was then. The buyer and their agent will review the home to make sure all agreed-upon repairs have been made. Everything addressed in the inspection report should be taken care of and documented with receipts or invoices at this point.
You’re in the homestretch! The marketing, negotiating and re-negotiating are complete, and now it’s time to close on the transaction you’ve worked so hard to complete. On closing day, your property will be transferred from you to the buyer – the new owner. The lion’s share of document signing will be up to the buyer, but as the seller you will sign the deed over to the buyer. This act officially transfers ownership to the buyer. The title company (or in some cases a lawyer or notary) will register the new deed with the appropriate government office. This record will show the buyer as the new homeowner. As the seller, you will receive any proceeds earned from the sale. This is a great time to communicate any pertinent information about the property. Most importantly to this meeting, you’ll be bringing the keys to the home, but also consider bringing or relaying information such as garage entry codes and manuals or warranty information for any appliances – either have them on hand or tell the buyer where to locate them in their new home.